Bastardette has been remiss is writing the last few days. Some other stuff took and continues to take precedence. Some of it bastard related, some not. So, I’m running this off quickly.

One of the things I intended to write about is CARE’s latest move on AB 372.

You know. First CARE wanted to save the old and dying adopted. Now they say they’re changing their mission to save only the yet-to-be-born adopted. Talk about a big ball of confusion! I recommend you read BB Church’s CARE Admits its Lack Implementation Strategy as well as CARE’s apologia Keep Your Eye on the Ball (click on link on front page –“Comprehensive History…”) , written probably by CARE’s “executive director” and professional lobbyist, Stephanie Williams, for a background to CARE’s latest circus trick.

Incompetent CARE’s “Eyeball” attempt to frame everybody but themselves for their defeat is laughable. And it took them nearly a week after their baby was thrown into the suspension file to come up with an explanation.

Yeah, those of us who already have our information or records and “unnamed” organizations that actually promote and win equal access to records who CARE kicked to the curb on Day One, are now the Enemy of the People. No doubt we want everybody else to suffer while we gloat niner niner. That CARE promised Cali adoptees the world and gave them a garbage dump that nobody wanted is left unnoted. I’m not sure what kind of a chance their lousy bill had–probably not much–but hey, why not take credit! We helped put this bill back on the highway to hell from whence it came. Hopefully, it will continue it’s roundtrip and won’t make any detours in the next few days.

Here is what CARE has to say about ethical, comprehensive, and inclusionary bastards, those serious activists who actually believe all adoptees should and can regain their right to birth certificates, and have proven it The folks who believe in doing their homework before they go to class:

Those who have their identity, their story, their “Chapter One” may believe that providing all records instead of some records is the only strategy They can afford to wait another 10, 20, or 30 years or even a lifetime–they know their own Chapter 1.

Are they honest with those who don’t have their truth; those they block forever getting their information by their “take no prisoners” approach?

The statistics in California are staggering, a Judiciary Committee in 2001 rejected release of the original birth certificate. In 2009, ten new faces and a new committee consultant again are unanimous in rejecting reversal of state policy.What is the trigger for legislative change in California? Why are the “no compromisers” not revealing their strategies to engage those who work on all levels of civil rights (ACLU) to convince Them that their issue belongs in the civil rights camp? Why is the dialogue that will bring forward open records by “the take no prisoners” that is superior to AB 372.

No action is inaction.

Hmmm, it appears that CARE now thinks the Empty Pagers can wait 10, 20, or 30 years or even a lifetime. Oh, never mind! And note genuine bastard activist shit kickers don’t believe that for a minute.

Here is BB’s partial reply:

All the time CARE was telling the adoption community to not worry, that AB 372 would get better, that we should trust them. EyeBall finally levels with the adoption community, AB 372 is as good as it’s going to get. All that talk about amending it over the next two years, well, those were just words coming out of their mouths and those words don’t mean anything.

EyeBall closes with a plea for incremental change. On its face I have no problem with incremental changes leading to full rights. The problem with AB 372 and CARE’s effort is that their increment doesn’t lead anywhere. They have looked at the existing social dynamic of power and thrown up their hands. This is the BEST THEY CAN DO.

It’s lonely being incompetent; success has a thousand authors, failure only one. EyeBall bemoans the fact that they have no allies… well, get used to it.

Down, but unfortunately not out, here comes CARE’s next “elegant strategy: a PACER sponsored “birthmother only” support group. ” How thoughtful of them!

“Birthmother” Indoctrination 101 is facilitated by …who else other than CARE’s professional lobbyist, Stephanie Williams who seems to think that a civil rights bill effecting the most intimate parts of lives can be lobbied the way she ran through California highway bills that effect gazillion dollar commercial interests.

What qualifications Williams has to lead a support group are unknown other than she is reportedly a “birthmother” of two children given up through L-d-S in another state. Gee, can there be some other motive here?

Since the email announcement of the new group, sent by CARE Board member Linda “Mama O” Orozco tells us to pass it on, here is the full email.

From: MamaO
To: MamaO
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 7:43 PM
Subject: Birthmother Only PACER group – Starting June 11

Please pass on to Birthmothers in our area:

Beginning June 11, Sacramento PACER will have a Birthmothers Only group scheduled for the second Thurs of each month facilitated by Stephanie Williams:

First Meeting 6/11/09, 6:30-8:30 pm
2018 University Park Drive
Sacramento CA 95825
Stephanie’s Cel 916-718-1178

Coming from downtown – exit at Howe Ave/Power Inn Road and make a left. Cross the river and make a right turn on Swarthmore (at the light). Make the first left and park when you see the business building end and the homes start. Walk down the path between the buildings and the homes about 50 feet – the path ends and it dumps you into my street. Her home is on the right corner at the end of the block.

PACER Facilitator (Triad)

YES!!!!! Do pass the word around. Please.

Send it to every first mom you know in the Sacto area. And send this blog along, too. Tell them:

Do not go to this group.

Do not be indoctrinated by CARE.

Do not let CARE sell out the civil rights and birthrights of you and your adult children for favors to a privileged few.


  1. Obviously C.A.R.E. hasn’t been paying attention- some of us Bastards who oppose their pathetic excuse for a bill have absolutely no access.

    I’m about as ‘locked out’ as they come, having been told point blank by an officer of the court “you’re never going to get it.” Still I oppose C.A.R.E.’s approach with every fiber of my being.

    But then, to actually acknowledge Bastards who have been left behind before oppose their bill would certainly gut their “elegant strategy” of only addressing those who do have access, eh?

    Far easier for C.A.R.E. to pretend Bastards like myself simply don’t exist.

    C.A.R.E., meet your record-access-less opposition, folks like me.

  2. So CARE claims the people who have been protesting this sort of half-assed compromise legislation are doing so because they already have their records? That is utter BS. I for one protested CARE’s attempts to throw some bastards on the barbie specifically because I do NOT have my Chapter 1, and have in fact been denied it thanks to Illinois’ legislation, the same kind of legislation CARE wants to pass in California.

    Equal access for EVERYONE. No exceptions!

  3. All they want is to have birth mothers in their pockets so that they can parade them (when needed) to say “This is what birth mothers want” (When referring to their crappy excuses for bills, ie: AB 372 “CARE’S Birth Mother Privacy Act” aka “Screw The Adoptees, It’s All About Passing Something” bill.

    Passing AB 372 would be like passing a big fat turd. It’ll clog the drain for any REAL open records reform to be able to pass and the stench will linger for years, possibly decades.

  4. Once again, someone presumes to speak for us mothers and fails to recognize that each of us can speak for ourselves. For Pete’s Sake! We are AARP members! I think that life experience should make us capable of carrying on our own dialogue. CARE needs to bear their own failures without trying to pull in the beemommies. Any group, organization or individual who claims to be the voice for mothers and who claims to know what ALL mothers want and need should go piss up a rope. Too much is being presumed and assumed.

  5. Not an AARP member and never will be, but agreeing that mothers can speak for themselves at any age:-) I would be suspicious of this new group.

    By the way, what is the status of the bill now? Is it still in suspension? Is it moving on as a prospective bill? As usual, nothing with CARE is clear.

  6. Anon- while I completely agree that this is about cultivating “authentic voices” ready and willing to come forward on cue and spew the party line (using Mothers YET AGAIN,) as I’ve written before, this is in no way shape or form a “Birth Mother Privacy Act” and should never be referred to as such.

    It’s a false meme.

    It’s about giving lip service to what Mothers want, not giving womyn’s genuine desires voice or power.

    It’s about the creation of a by default shut ‘in the name of’ protecting (legally non-existent) falsely labeled “privacy rights,” a scheme that ultimately does nothing but buttress the State’s pre-existing pro-sealed position while shifting the blame for such onto Mothers.

    This isn’t about authentic privacy- it’s about using Mothers as a placeholder, not as people, to ultimately gain the desired outcome.

    The State is off the hook, Mothers catch the blame, and right on cue Bastards and Mothers are pitted against one another in yet another iteration of the patently false “triad” mentality (leaving those with the most power in relation to records, the State and various other usually industry related players rendered invisible yet again.)

    The full adoption pentagon remains hidden.

    Bills like AB 372 are predicated upon the false notion of the “triad” and thus predictably set up the conditions such that Bastards and Mothers would each be falsely set against one another.

    Authentic records access legislation starts with the basic understanding that our records are held by the State- thus it is the State they must be pried out of.

    “Triad” thinking attempts to render the very place efforts should be focused as some form of a passive player, merely ‘carrying out the wishes of our Mothers’ which as we’ve seen over and over is simply a load of horse manure.

    The State can attempt to hide behind voiceless Mother’s skirts, but ultimately, it almost never cedes genuine power and voice to them and their authentic desires.

  7. “In 2009, ten new faces and a new committee consultant again are unanimous in rejecting reversal of state policy.”

    I don’t believe this is an accurate statement.

    It is ironic that Ms. Williams first told me that the people on the internet were noise makers and nothing more, and now they seem responsible for her failure.

    Actually, I do think that the failure of the bill is due solely to CARE’s own inabilities.

    As a matter of fact I do have a plan of action, and that would be going to the ACLU, department of social services et al. before the bill is even introduced.

    I also find it curious that Ms. Williams is interested NOW in what others are doing, when she so clearly had no interest at a much more critical point.

  8. Although I have a well-documented disagreement with CARE and Stepahnie Williams, I have to take issue with both the substance and tone of your blog, Marls. PACER, for which I once served as a board member and peer facilitator, has a substantial history as a sponsor of peer-facilitated support groups, some of which are open to all, some of which are “Triad” position specific.
    PACER provides both training and guidelines for its support groups, there is no ideological bent, and group leaders are accountable to the PACER board to adhere to the guidelines. During my tenure with PACER, the organization was extremely sensitive to ethical boundaries and conduct. I see no reason to doubt them in this instance.

  9. BB–I have no problem with PACER sponsoring support groups for anybody. What I do take issue with is a “birthmother” support group facilitated by Stephanie Williams. This is nothing but colonizing supporters for CARE and their crappy “elegant strategy.” Make friends, indoctrinate, own. It’s cultish behavior.

  10. Maryanne, the AARP reference was to indicate that we have attained the maturity and life experience to back up our words. I, for one, am not one who chases after eternal youth. We are older..it is what it is and it can’t be changed. The majority of adoptees who are working for open records are our children…adult children who have reached middle age. Where I was raised, age and wisdom were respected. That is why I am so dumbfounded by those who try to put words in our mouths. Who appointed them to speak for us?

  11. I don’t see that age of mothers or kids has anything to do with the injustice of sealed records or of adoption industry spokesmen speaking for us. That’s just wrong no matter how old or wise the parties are or are not.

    Once the adoptee is no longer a minor, 18 or 21, we are all adults and should be able to form or reject our own relationships without the state interfering.

    I don’t see age as conferring any particular wisdom; you just get too tired to do the dumb things you did when you were young!

    Adoptees and mothers of all ages, young and old, have been involved in search and adoption reform as long as I have known about it. It sucked to have people speaking for me as a young mother in my 20s when I first got involved in adoption reform, and it still sucks years later when I am an old lady. Age is not the issue.

  12. Age has become an issue for many of us who feel that time is running out for our true voices to be heard. It may not be an issue for you, but it is for many others.

    Oh, and life experience, for the thoughtful and insightful, can make one wiser. I know I am a hell of a lot more perceptive than I was even 10 or 20 years ago.

    IMO, wisdom comes with the ability to learn from your mistakes, the humility to know that you don’t know it all, and the absence of any need for arrogance or pretense. Not every old person is wise, but experiencing and learning from life is the usual way to gain real wisdom. The wisest (and the most serene) people I have ever known were well over 70.

  13. Marls, PACER facilitators have zip control over topics at support group meetings. Facilitators divide the meeting time by the number of attendees and encourage everyone to share, make sure everyone understands and follows the meeting guidelines (no crosstalk, etc.). It’s a poor recruiting opportunity for cults, politics or anything else. Folks who seek out support groups are usually there to focus on their issues, not get indoctrinated. When facilitators do recruit, for instance when a shrink used a group she facilitated to recruit clients, the Board decertifies them as a PACER group. I know, I was a PACER facilitator while I was Chair of CalOpen. There was a limited time at the end of meetings to make announcements, but you compete with a lot of other events… The average PACER meeting is lucky to average five to ten attendees. Some meetings are larger, but then the share time dwindles to nothing so these meetings tend to splooge off breakout groups.

    When I heard that Williams was planning to start a group for first moms my reaction was good for her, provide a service to the community. It’ll probably be good for her to hear more stories, that’s the greatest benefit from facilitating these groups – you hear a lot of stories…

  14. Hi Robin,
    No, I do not see time running out on “our true voices being heard”. The experience of older mothers has been captured quite well in “The Girls Who Went Away” and in many personal accounts of surrender before the mid 70s. Keep writing and recording what happened if you want to leave a permanent voice. I think we have done and continue to do a good job of that.

    I see younger mothers and adoptees taking up the fight for open records and adoption reform, and eventually winning. Whether I’m still here to see that is not really important.

    Sadly, the adoption industry continues to take advantage of vulnerable mothers. While not in the large numbers when we surrendered, new moms and adoptees continue to be exploited and lied to, and will continue to wake up and protest. Look at all the international adult adoptee groups springing up now!

    Unlike your group I am not interested in apologies from the government or anyone, so that piece does not apply.

    I too know some wonderful old people, like some of the ladies at my water exercise class that goes from a young mom in her 30s up to age 95 and still in great shape! Most of us are 55-75.

    I also know some nasty old bigots. Age just makes you older, and I think amplifies the traits already there in the personality, good and bad. That’s what my Dad always said, anyhow, and he lived to be 92:-)

  15. Yeah, I know some old bitches and curmudgeons, as well. But I know many more wise, serene, intuitive older people. Aging gives one the opportunity to acquire wisdom. And, while Ann’s book is wonderful, there is still much misunderstanding about mothers. SMAAC and BSERI have many, many mothers who see things differently from you. Agreeing to disagee without rancor is something a wise person would do. One having a different perception from another does not negate the validity of an opinion.

  16. Sure, I can agree to disagree without rancor. No problem. Just so you see that merely disagreeing does not imply rancor or persecution. I wish you and your group well, but could not join it because I do not agree with some of the basic assumptions and goals. We agree on some issues, like open records, not on others. OK with me. Everyone’s got an opinion.

    I know SMAAC is Senior Mothers, but what is BSERI? I must have missed that one. It helps to spell these thing out for the uninitiated.

  17. As my senile old grannie used to mumble sagely, there’s no fool like an old fool, and opinions are like assholes.
    Where I was raised, age and wisdom were not only respected, they were so inextricably linked in people’s minds that young people were regarded as children who couldn’t possibly know theirs.
    So the old people made life-impacting decisions on behalf of the young.
    It was called ‘For Their Own Good’.

    Anything adoption related that has to do with the LDS has to be deeply suspect.

  18. If one has spent one’s years refusing to learn from experience and observation, then you have an “old fool.” I never denied that they exist…just postulated that age can bring knowledge and wisdom if one allows it. My grandparents were very wise people.

    BSERI ; Baby Scoop Era Research Initiative (a quietly industious group)

    Neither SMAAC nor BSERI claim to speak for all mothers of adopion loss….just for those of us who see and resent and seek redress for the injutices done to us and our children on such a massive scale. You don’t have to join us or agree with us, but there is also no need to fight us. ;o)

  19. I think it is very hard to achieve wisdom, even through age.
    I do know better than to trust anyone who lays claim to it.

    Goo me no gurus.

  20. I’m not fighting you. I am just disagreeing with your priorities. If you ever got anywhere with the government or anyone offering us an apology, that would be fine with me. I would not fight it. For many reasons I seriously doubt it will ever happen, though.

    I too resent the injustices done to us and our children on a massive scale, and also resent the injustices that continue to be done today to adoptees and mothers on a smaller scale. Those who feel as I do are not less concerned with injustice or righting it than your group, we just see what is possible and meaningful in reform in a different way, and do not separate surrendering mothers into eras. We all lost our kids, in 1968 or last month.

  21. Funny….the generation that said “don’t trust anyone over 30” and “hope I die before I get old” (My Generation; The Who) are now old and saying that age gives them “wisdom” that the young should heed:-) The “wisdom” of our parents and grandparents and those generations was what led many of us to surrender.

    This battle of generations has been going on forever. I’ve known people who were young and seemed very wise, and old and wise, but like Kippa I distrust those who lay claim to special wisdom at any age.

  22. As a member of SMAAC and a mother who is totally aware of the fact that I have many more years behind me than in front of me, I have recently noticed that more and more life has a way of interfering with my agenda. So, wisdom or age or whatever, I wasn’t a patient person when I was young, and am even less so now.

    To me it seems that an apology would be a nice thing to have, but it won’t give me my son back. Nothing can do that. However, if I am going to be used again to gain access to the OBC for adult adoptees, I would ask, who is working for equal access to identifying information for the mothers? If this woman in California, or Illinois or wherever would like to include mothers in her agenda, then I would happily jump on her bandwagon. Unless information sharing includes access to identifying information for the mothers as it does in Canada, and Australia, I will not support it.

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